Laptop touchpad cursor jumps around while not touching it

Updated: 12/29/2017 by Computer Hope
Laptop touchpad
Note

Details on this page are for a laptop touchpad. For Desktop computer mouse issues, see our mouse acting erratically or is not moving properly page.

Tip

Some laptops may have a button around the touchpad or an icon in the Windows Notification Area that can enable and disable the touchpad.

Make sure you are not touching the touchpad

Because the touchpad often is close to where the palms of your hands and thumbs lay, it's possible that you may be touching the touchpad without realizing it. An easy way of determining this is to see if the cursor moves without touching anything on the keyboard.

Dirty touchpad

Oils, lotion, and other substances from your fingers can cause the touchpad not to work properly. Make sure the touchpad is clean by dampening a cotton cloth with water and gently rubbing the touchpad surface.

Disconnect other external input devices

It may not be the touchpad that's causing your issue. If you have other input devices, such as an external mouse, graphics tablet, or keypad, try disconnecting these devices to make sure they're not the cause of your issue.

Disconnect from docking station

If your laptop is only encountering this issue while connected to a docking station, your issue could be caused by the docking station. For this issue, we suggest the below solutions.

Update drivers

Because the drivers control how the touchpad interfaces with the operating system, if the drivers contain issues, that could cause the cursor to move improperly. Make sure you have the latest drivers for the touchpad by visiting the laptop manufacturer website or contacting their support.

Try a third-party utility

Download and install Touchpad Blocker, a fantastic free program that can be used to help prevent any mistaken touchpad movements.

Bad hardware

If you've completed all the above steps and continue to have issues with your touchpad, you may have a hardware issue either with the touchpad or the interface connected to the touchpad.

If your laptop is out of warranty and you do not want to spend the money it takes to repair the laptop, we suggest disabling the touchpad and using an external USB mouse. Many touchpads can be disabled by pressing a button above or around the touchpad. If no button for disabling the touchpad is found, you should be able to disable it through the Mouse configuration utility, found in the Control Panel.

Additional information